Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Publishing Industry Contacts
As I've moved through the information industry I've collected contacts about associations, financial firms, companies, recruiters and consultants.  I've maintained it as a word document and am finally moving it online so that I can refer job seekers and industry researchers there.  I'm hoping it will be easier to update and more permanent.  Please send any additions, deletions or corrections to or use the comment feature below.

1) Associations

a) SIIA – Software & Information Industry Association. They cover the content and software area quite well. .

i) – Financial division of SIIA

b) SIPA– Specialized Information Publishers Assocation

c) American Business Media – Founded in 1906, American Business Media is the association for business-to-business information providers, including producers of print publications, websites, trade shows and other media. 200-plus member companies.

d) Online Publishers Association -- industry trade organization dedicated to representing high-quality online publishers before the advertising community, the press, the government and the public. Very expensive to join – meant for big media companies

e) ASIDIC – merged with NFAIS

f) NFAIS -- National Federation of Abstracting & Indexing Services

g) STM -- Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers. Focuses on Academic and Professional publishers.

2) Financial Firms– there are a couple of firms that cover the information industry. Some are heavier on advisory than banking:

a) Jordan Edmiston –NY

b) Berkery Noyes – NY

c) DeSilva Phillips - NY

d) Warburg Pincus

e) Veronis Suhler -- NY  Leading private investment firm that invests in the information, education, media, marketing and business services industries in North America and Europe.

f) Marlin & Co. - Marlin & Associates is an independent boutique financial and strategic advisory firm and investment bank focused on advising owners and managers of U.S. and international companies that provide technology, digital information, and healthcare-related products and services.
g) Whitestone Communications –national mergers and acquisitions advisory firm serving the publishing, information and training industries. Based in NY.

h) Media Advisory Partners - serves media industry - broadly defined to include publishing, broadcast & cable, education & training, information content providers

3) Connecticut Companies

a) Allegient Systems - bought by Bottomline Technologies

b) Atlantic Law Book Company -- publishes in-depth books on the substantive and procedural aspects of Connecticut civil and criminal law. I think Hartford based.

c) BLR – Old Saybrook based publisher of safety, HR, Safety and environmental products.

d) Bureau of Business Practices – New London. Part of Wolters Kluwer

e) Cliggott Publishing – Darien. Owned by UBM. Medical Publisher

f) Connecticut Law Book Publishing – Tiny Guilford Publisher.

g) Dataviz – Trumbull based company that builds software for the Palm OS

h) Daticon – Legal document mgmt. based in Gales Ferry.

i) EDGAR Online – CT based financial information company. bought by RR Donnelly in 2012

j) FACTSET – Norwalk based financial information provider

k) Forecast International -- $5MM defense publisher – family run.

l) Lawyerup - Easton CT / America's First Urgent Legal Dispatch System

m) Micropatent - part of Thomson

n) Legal Research Systems – very small company in Hartford focused on ERISA publishing. -- purchased by WESTLAW

o) Little Blue Books – Hartford based publisher – family run. Lists of Doctors and specialties. Purchased by WEBMD

p) NERAC – Tolland based firm providing database services to engineers

q) Oceana Publications, Inc. - Publisher of International Legal Materials. Since 1948 publisher of essential international legal information specifically designed for law librarians, practicing attorneys, business executives, academicians, government officials and researchers worldwide. - Part of Oxford University Press

r) Taunton Press – publishes high end how to books like fine woodworking.

s) Thomson

t) Transcentive – software to manage corporate records, insider filings and stock option plans. Based in Shelton. Bought by Computershare in Australia in Feb ’04.

u) Windhover Information – provides analysis and commentary on health care business strategy, industry deal-making, marketplace trends, and the world of medical start-ups. Norwalk, CT. Bought by Reed Elsevier.fd

v) triVIN -- provides distinct products and services that automate motor vehicle processing and lien and title administration / Groton, CT

w) Tymetrix – legal software billing company – now owned by CCH/ Hartford

x) Vertafore -- provider of specialized software, services and information for the property and casualty insurance industry. Located in Windsor.- moved to Seattle?

y) Greyhouse Publishing - directory and encyclopedia publisher founded in 1981. Now in Amenia NY.

4) Consulting Firms & Newsletters

a) Easton Consultants– Stamford CT based firm.

b) – Westport CT based

c) –

d) – well connected firm based out of Chicago

e) – CA based firm specializing in the end user community and industry executives.

f) Infocommerce Group -- boutique consulting firm focusing on directories and specialized information.

g) SKS Advisors – Steve Sieck

h) Hal Espo

5) Recruiters

a) -- Bob Bernikow focuses on sales type positions.



d) Ed Kaminski

e) Ligature Partners

f) Chemistry Executive Search – Rick Linde

g) New Coordinates, Cara Erickson

h) Tom Vos, Curran Partners

i) The Howard Sloan Koller Group

j) InSearch – Millie Mashal

k) Korn Ferry

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Trading Print Dollars for Digital Dimes in the Paperless Cockpit

There was a fascinating article in the New York Times entitled the Paperless Cockpit. It describes the trend of airlines and private pilots to trade off 40 pounds of paper for a 1.5 pound iPad. One interviewed pilot summed the benefit up succinctly: “When you need to a make a decision in the cockpit, three to four minutes fumbling with paper is an eternity.”

There were a couple of other noteworthy points that the information industry can relate to as pilots embrace the “electronic flight bag”:

Form Factor – The small, easy to carry tablet affords many benefits to pilots. As all professional publishers know, the shift to electronic offerings has been going on for decades. The Information Industry Association, the predecessor to the SIIA was founded over forty years ago for pioneering digital publishers. Early electronic products focused on news and financial data. However, accountants, consultants and lawyers soon got in on the revolution and they helped drive adoption of online, CD-ROM and later web offerings. These road warriors demanded lighter and more functional products. It is no surprise that pilots share those same concerns.

The interesting wrinkle is that the weight reduction offers benefits to both the pilots and the airlines. Saving sixty pounds of paper (pilot + co-pilot) creates a significant savings not only in paper and printing costs but also in fuel because planes are that much lighter.

The reduction in injuries was also cited as a weight-saving benefit. The switch to the iPad is expected to reduce health care costs and absenteeism from shoulder and back injuries associated with hoisting heavy flight bags, said David Clark, pilot and manager of the connected aircraft program at American Airlines. “Cockpits are small, and lifting that thing up and over your seat causes damage, particularly when you consider a lot of pilots are over 40.”

Change in Workflow - In a point that will resonate with librarians, pilots do not have to go through the tedium of updating the manuals by swapping out old pages with new ones because updates are downloaded automatically. As someone who flies, I like the idea of my crew having timely updates in the cockpit.

The Apps - This electronic flight bag, thanks to the iPad, supports hundreds of general aviation apps that simplify preflight planning and assist with in-flight operations. The article cites that there are now more than 250 aviation apps for the iPad, and one called ForeFlight is among the top grossing apps listed on iTunes.

“The iPad apps can provide additional information and are often easier to use than avionics technologies installed in airplanes,” said Mark Erickson, a corporate pilot who flies a Gulfstream G450 and Falcon 2000 for a company based in St. Louis.

In a point not lost on publishers who have taken their products through a media migration: his motivation was to save on subscriptions to paper maps and charts, which had cost him $1,414 a year. He now gets the same maps and charts digitally delivered to his two iPads for $150 a year. This is a variation of the infamous ratio of trading print dollars for digital dimes. Mr. Brown concluded that “Anything that makes me more alert, responsible and allows me to stay more focused on actually flying the plane is a good thing”.

See the follow-on interview here on .

Monday, August 23, 2010

WikiReader -- good enough technology?

Last month I was in a big box store and came across this product -- the WikiReader. It offers offline access to 3 million plus articles from the english version of Wikipedia. It does this without a wifi or 3G connection. But rest assured, you can get updates via a computer that will let you update an SD card. The whole thing runs on a few batteries that last about a year.

As I sit in my office surrounded by a laptop, iPhone and iPad - I think the product is kind of silly but maybe it has utility for some. For example, before the Apple/Gizmodo stolen phone brouhaha came up, the term "apphole" referred to one of those people who was always checking their phone to answer questions that came up in coversation. Maybe peoplie like that would buy it. In a similar vein, I read years ago that the Guinness Book of World Records was devised to resolve bar bets. Perhaps the WikiReader may serve the same purpose in watering holes without wifi or 3G.

Perhaps this is the device version of the "just good enough" competition we sometimes see in the content space. Users will trade off cost for a cheap or free version because what they need is not mission critical. I don't think this business is all that scalable in that no one wants a slew of extra devices connected to their belt but maybe they can find enough of a market somewhere.

If you are interested, you can buy one from Amazon for $73.58. I'll be sticking with my iPad.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ken Doctor, in his book entitled NEWSONOMICS: 12 New Trends That will Shape the News You Get, adds some great points to the debate about the future of news. He weaves in interesting facts and figures and interviews many industry thought leaders. He’s been a frequent speaker and contributor to SIIA events so it was interesting to get his take on the topic. A few points that really jumped out at me include:

How much influence will be exerted by whoever pays for the news in the years ahead? He reminds us that “Someone always pays for the news, and the support has always spawned debates about who news organizations favor or fear.” As news organizations experiment with hyperlocal coverage at The New Haven Independent or the non-profit business model of The Texas Tribune, we get some perspectives on how that news will get paid for and delivered.

Ken also points out that “News is unlike any other business. It balances profit-making and public service at it score. Citizens across the globe depend on the business of news to find out what’s going on. Who brings us the news matters.” This “follow the money” approach reminds the reader as to how this business works and Doctor does a nice job of providing examples with real numbers to illustrate these points.

By interviewing lots of people I know and respect like Patrick Spain of Newser, Rafat Ali of PaidContent and Larry Schwartz at Newstex, Ken gives a balanced perspective on what we should expect in the future. At the end of the book he points out that “just as we pay for cable programming and broadband Internet and support all kinds of community and global organization, we can support news and information. As a representative of many paid content companies– I could not agree more.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Do You Know How to Make Your Spoken Content Memorable?

A few months ago I had the chance to speak at a panel at the O’Reilly Tool’s of Change conference. As part of the attendee registration package I was given a copy of the book Confessions of a Public Speaker, by Scott Berkun. It was a great read packed with humorous insights as well as useful tips that the author has honed over the years. I enjoyed it so much that I took it as one of my vacation books back in March. Here are a couple of highlights:

1. Good Discussion of the Practicalities of Public Speaking – Berkun has been on his own making a living by speaking and writing. As a result he’s compiled a lot of best practices and tips that come from his extensive experience. Some are obvious like showing up early while others are clever like wiring the microphone through your shirt so the cords are not swinging while you are speaking.

2. Tools of the Trade – Berkin writes about what kind of equipment to have, what kind of back-ups to use and shares an extensive bibliography for further study. He also gives valuable advice on slide design – very appropriate given the recent article in the NY Times about use of PowerPoint in the military.

3. Exhortation to Practice – This was the biggest reminder for me. Too often I wait until the last minute to finish up my slides. Sometimes that means writing them on the plane enroute to your destination. Since Berkun charges to speak and is taking up a lot of people’s time, he makes sure to practice over and over until he has the presentation right. His encouragement is for all public speakers to do the same.

4. Tips for when things go poorly – Let’s face it, we can’t always hit the ball out of the park when we speak and sometimes you have to just get through the presentation. He shares some of his experiences and how to cope with them if they happen to you.

5. Confessions – one of the most memorable sections of the book was the end where he compiled confessions of other public speakers. Most were humorous examples of where presentations went off track or did not go as planned. It was a nice ending and helped put the rest of the book in perspective.

It’s a quick and valuable read so get your hands on a copy – it will make your next presentation go much more smoothly.

(This is a copy of my Amazon Review)

Monday, February 08, 2010

Paid Content on "the office"

I was catching up with some episodes that I had recorded and saw the entitled The Office Murder. Michael Scott, Regional Manager for Dunder Mifflin, hears some bad news about the company from his boss who cites an article in "The Journal" that talks about impending doom for the company.

Michael and the staff rush a nearby computer and look up the article, only to be stopped by a pay wall! Michael shrugs it off with an "oh well". One of his staffers pulls out a credit card so they can access this important story that gives them details on the impending bankruptcy.

As more news sites ponder the pay wall, pay ramp and pay ladder approaches -- these vignettes may play out in lots of offices. We will undoubtedly start to see more password sharing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You Should Crave the Rave!

I recently finished reading David Meerman Scott’s latest book World Wide Rave. It is a great how-to book on creating “triggers that get millions of people to spread your ideas and share your stories”. With the same quick pace of his past books Scott introduces readers to his six Rules of the Rave:

1) Nobody cares about your products (except you)
2) No coercion required
3) Lose control
4) Put down roots
5) Create triggers that encourage people to share
6) Point the word to your (virtual) doorstep

In the following chapters he shares some powerful examples of how PR, marketing and product professionals took advantage of these ideas to raise awareness. My favorite story was how Cindy Gordon, VP of new media at Universal Orlando Resort, hyped the upcoming Harry Potter attraction by telling just seven people. These seven were so influential that eventually 350 million people heard about the attraction.

He also weaves some best practices like creating buyer personas to understand who you are trying to reach and tactics like using negative titles (Do Not Read This Blog Post).

I also appreciated his admonitions about what not to do like creating “lead bait” or tracking leads and press clippings as a measure of effectiveness.

World Wide Rave is a great kick start for people who need to get their message out so people will beat a virtual path to your doorstep.